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Special Report

Morningstar's Get It Done Week

Tackle those nagging financial tasks once and for all.

What nagging financial task is on your to-do list? Is it rolling over an old 401(k)? Updating your will? Organizing your financial paperwork? All of the above?

Helping you tackle some of these jobs, so you can cross them off your checklist once and for all, was the focus of Morningstar.com's Get It Done Week. During the week, we coached investors on completing some of those tasks that they tend to defer the most.

Step 1: Get Organized
Because everyone can think more clearly with a clean desk, we'll kick off the week with a discussion of how to organize your financial life. We'll cover how to transition to a nearly paperless home office, as well as which documents to save and which you can safely shred. (Hint: There are a lot more shreddables than there are documents worth hanging on to.) We'll also share one of our favorite tools for keeping track of your various financial holdings: a master directory where you can enumerate your various financial accounts and intermediaries.

Step 2: Review Your Retirement Plan
If funding an IRA, rolling over an old 401(k), or checking your retirement plan's progress is on your to-do list, Day 2 is for you. We'll provide worksheets for crafting an investment policy statement and, for retirees, a retirement policy statement. We'll also coach you on maximizing your investments in your company retirement plan and IRAs.

Step 3: Evaluate Your Estate Plan and Long-Term Care Options
On Day 3 we'll focus on what has to be the single-most procrastinated set of financial tasks: estate- and long-term-care planning. We'll cover the basics of crafting a sensible estate plan for your physical, financial, and digital assets, and discuss the merits of setting up trusts. And because long-term care planning often goes hand in hand with estate planning, we'll also share some must-knows about long-term care.

Step 4: Effectively Manage Your Cash
Effective cash management is the focus of Day 4. Of course, cash yields are so low that many investors might be tempted to jettison their cash holdings altogether. But a baseline cash stake is a key ingredient in every financial plan, and most "cash alternatives," whether ultrashort bonds or bank loans, are actually too volatile to substitute for cash. We'll discuss right-sizing your emergency fund as well as setting aside the right amount of cash reserves during retirement.

Step 5: Tackle the Stragglers
On Day 5, we'll cover the remaining, disparate financial to-dos that hang over many investors' heads--including college funding, beneficiary designations, and budgeting, among other topics.